I had my Gap Year interview on the 14th of March 2020. Little did we know one week later the country would be in complete lockdown! I had originally signed up to go to Lendrick Muir and work with the Schools team there. However, the situation escalated and it was not looking likely that I would be there. During this time I was questioning if I should even bother doing the Gap Year. I will hold my hands up and say that I was not feeling positive about the situation. I think it was around July I received the call that Lendrick Muir and other centres were going to furlough staff because there were no guests. This meant it was definitely not possible for me to move to Lendrick Muir. Initially, this took me a bit of time to process and to get over it.
I live in Ayrshire with my family and we luckily have Gowanbank in the region. This meant instead of moving out I could do my Gap Year here in Ayrshire working alongside Carol (Ayrshire Regional Worker) and Sylvia and Colin (Joint Centre Managers) this was not what I was expecting. However, I was so grateful to even be able to do a Gap year.
I officially started the year on the 21st of September 2020. I wasn’t sure what I was actually going to be able to do with the restrictions, etc. but that was the same for all SU staff.
Even with Covid, I have been able to do a lot of exciting things! From September – December these are some of the things I have done;
January has been quite quiet in terms of work. With schools not being open ,there was no SU group. This had been my only regular face to face interaction with young people. Along with this we were also supposed to have our February Day Camps. However, they were cancelled too. After this disappointment I focused my energy on the planning of our Easter camps which we hope can go ahead. I have also been a part of the Encounter planning. Encounter is a youth led prayer based event. Me and six other young people have been getting together fortnightly to chat about the programme. This event is happening for P7- S6’s on the 10th of April online.
Another part of my Gap Year which I never thought I would get to be a part of is Strategy Groups. These groups are made up of SU staff and they are to make up a plan and goals for the next 5 years for SU to try and reach. I was delighted to be asked to be a part of the group looking at ‘where children and young people are’ whether they are at home, school, online, church, youth group or even at the park etc. I feel like as a young person myself I have a lot to contribute to the group.
Although I was hesitant to work here in Ayrshire and during Covid, I can honestly say I have loved the past 4 months so far. I love working with Sylvia and Carol and I couldn’t have asked for better supervisors or a better group of supporters. It is a shame that I may not have met everyone in person and only over zoom but God will cure Covid when it is time to do so and its important to remember He is in control even though sometimes it feels like we are all alone!
In other news I have a prayer letter that comes out every few months or so and it tells you what I have been up to in those months, prayer points and upcoming events! If you would like to receive this letter please let me know by EMAILING me.
I look forward to seeing where this year takes me. I already feel a lot more confident and my faith has grown so much and although this year may have a lot of ups and downs again it’s a nice reminder to know God is still doing amazing things no matter the circumstances.